Sammy Trotman’s comical vulnerability sparks a gritty conversation about mental health.
Produced by Covered in Jam and with packed-out performances at Rotunda Theatre’s Squeak as part of Brighton Fringe, That’s Not My Name aims to commentate on mental health whilst distancing itself from the clinical cruelty of psychiatric therapies.
Having begun writing this blend of theatre and comedy whilst, in rehab, Trotman bares all in this production about her own personality disorders and the dysfunctional relationship between her doctors and herself.
It is important to note that this show does not mince its words. It is brutal and gut-wrenching. But it is equally incredibly inspiring to watch someone be so vulnerable about the parts of themselves that they had been told they needed to hide and despise. It beautifully demonstrates the complexity of mental health and the desperate attempt to conform to a world that doesn’t understand.
Direction by Jake Rix is fast-paced and engaging – utilising Trotman’s comedy and combining it with hilarious physical gags and musical parodies. The use of lighting and sound design in this show is not only spot on thematically but also aided in bringing Trotman’s many characters to life seamlessly.
It is quite difficult to describe this show in any significant detail without giving anything away but it’s easy to say that this show is unlike anything you will have seen before. It breaks the mould exactly as it wishes to and keeps the audience on their toes throughout. Prepare to be challenged (and to laugh a lot!).
This show had the incredible ability to leave me both speechless as well as wanting to engage in conversation about mental health immediately after.
I really did not expect to connect and feel so personally affected by this show and yet Trotman’s honesty created a beautiful invitation for self-reflection. I saw so many parallels within my own life – feeling stifled by stigma and treating uniqueness as weird rather than something to be nurtured.
Overall this show is a masterclass in storytelling and character performance. I think it is completely necessary viewing for anyone who has received any kind of care from a mental health service. It is as empowering as it is poignant and I hope that it will pave the way for more honest conversations surrounding mental health and personality disorders.
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